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Topics: Strategic planning, Organization, Management Pages: 4 (1042 words) Published: October 21, 2013
While some models of organizational effectiveness go in and out of fashion, one that has persisted is the McKinsey 7S framework. Developed in the early 1980s by Tom Peters and Robert Waterman, two consultants working at the McKinsey & Company consulting firm, the basic premise of the model is that there are seven internal aspects of an organization that need to be aligned if it is to be successful. The 7S model can be used in a wide variety of situations where an alignment perspective is useful, for example to help you: Improve the performance of a company.

Examine the likely effects of future changes within a company. Align departments and processes during a merger or acquisition. Determine how best to implement a proposed strategy.
- See more at: http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newSTR_91.htm#sthash.kJcyAgDc.dpuf The Seven Elements
The McKinsey 7S model involves seven interdependent factors which are categorized as either "hard" or "soft" elements: Hard Elements
Soft Elements
Strategy
Structure 
Systems
Shared Values
Skills
Style
Staff

"Hard" elements are easier to define or identify and management can directly influence them: These are strategy statements; organization charts and reporting lines; and formal processes and IT systems. "Soft" elements, on the other hand, can be more difficult to describe, and are less tangible and more influenced by culture. However, these soft elements are as important as the hard elements if the organization is going to be successful. The way the model is presented in Figure 1 below depicts the interdependency of the elements and indicates how a change in one affects all the others.  

Let's look at each of the elements specifically:
Strategy: the plan devised to maintain and build competitive advantage over the competition. Structure: the way the organization is structured and who reports to whom. Systems: the daily activities and procedures that staff members engage in to get the job done. Shared...
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